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Side by Side: Parallel Histories of Israel-Palestine Paperback – March 6, 2012


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Side by Side: Parallel Histories of Israel-Palestine + The Israel-Arab Reader: A Documentary History of the Middle East Conflict, 7th Edition + A History of the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict (Indiana Series in Arab and Islamic Studies)
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Editorial Reviews

Review

"Innovative... A small but important step, if not toward peace, then perhaps toward understanding... Developed by a group of Israeli and Palestinian teachers, this text will prove useful not just to the young, but to anyone who quails at the thought of even attempting to unravel the knotty history of the Middle East."
Kirkus Reviews

"The battle lines of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict extend to the classroom, where the two sides’ versions of their shared history diverge sharply. Now, two university professors aim to change the way the conflict is taught by exposing Palestinian students to Israeli history lessons and Israeli students to the Palestinian version of history.
USA Today

About the Author

Peace Research Institute in the Middle East (PRIME) is a nongovernmental organization established by Palestinian and Israeli researchers with the help of the Peace Research Institute in Frankfurt, Germany. A co-founder with the late Dan Bar-On of PRIME and its current co-director, Sami Adwan has published widely on the role of education in peacebuilding. PRIME co-director Eyal Naveh is a professor of U.S. history at Tel Aviv University and teaches history and history education at the Kibbutzim College of Education.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 416 pages
  • Publisher: The New Press (March 6, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1595586830
  • ISBN-13: 978-1595586834
  • Product Dimensions: 9.2 x 6.1 x 1.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.3 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (15 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #397,746 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

14 of 16 people found the following review helpful By B. A. Murane on May 14, 2012
Format: Paperback
This book's simple yet ingenious innovation is a layout common to every English-Hebrew siddur: the right facing page is the Israeli narrative and the left facing page is the Palestinian side, each describing the same events. For example, page 168 is in the middle of the chapter about the 1950s-1960s. The Israeli page features a photo of Adolf Eichmann on trial in Jerusalem; the Palestinian page features a photo of a Palestinian refugee woman embracing a relative through a border fence. The Israeli chapter is titled "The State of Israel: The First Decades" and faces "Years of Homelessness and Despair." As one reads about the bombshell effect Eichmann's trial had on Israeli Jewish identity, you can't help but glance at the other page describing the systematic dispossession of Palestinian property under absentee laws.

Those of us versed in both narratives may be quite familiar with the different traumas important to both sides. But to see them so vividly and loyally portrayed side by side reminds me of how important efforts like this remain. For avid consumers of Middle East histories, this is an innovative quick reference guide. And for those entirely new to this issue, I highly recommend any book that is simple, clear and fair to both sides -- for which this approach is uniquely, brilliantly qualified.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful By billfish on August 16, 2012
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A group of teachers, professors and journalists tried to develop a unified narrative of the Israeli-Palestinian crisis for practical teaching purposes. They failed. Instead the created this side-by-side presentation of the Israeli narrative and the Palestinian narrative. They are teaching it, and the book was written with feedback from classroom teachers. Pretty amazing.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful By AntoniaLM on December 31, 2012
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This is a remarkable book. It jot only is a good quick history of Palestine/Israel, but it shows how accounts of the same events vary depending on one's outlook. And, given the high emotions on each side, it is remarkable that the authors were able to work together. For a balanced account of the history of the region it is excellent and there is little else like it to be read.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Cassie on January 3, 2014
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I had to order this book for on honor's seminar on the Palestinian conflict.

At first I was overwhelmed by the stories - a different side of the conflict is told on either side of the book. The left hand is the view point of Israeli, while the right hand is the view point of Palestinians. At first it is slow but the book picks up and if you are very knowledgeable or new to the conflict (as I was) you will like the book as long as you take the time to read it, and are interested in political/social/cultural affair. This book is not meant to be a text book. This book is not meant to be give one simple facts or to make one side look better or worse than the other. This book is meant to show the reader how the conflict may be analyzed by Israeli and Palestinian citizens - side by side. It is meant to give the reader an understanding of how this struggle came to be and how it has evolved over the years and the reason for the strife that exist between the two ethnic groups today.
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By tthurm on January 17, 2015
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I love the way this book is constructed. The side by side narratives from both the Palestinians and the Jews is a brilliant concept.

For me, the histories given are sometimes a bit shallow. There are errors of fact from both sides, but I guess that's to be expected. I do think this book is worth reading. I believe that few people are well versed in the history of this land and this book will definitely help with understanding some of the issues surrounding the conflict.

For a significantly better history book, I would read "Righteous Victims" by Morris, but this book is a long and complicated read. Most people won't won't have the patience to sift through all 800 pages of this difficult history. "Side by Side" is a reasonable but far less in depth history book.

I would love to see both Jewish and Palestine high school students using "Side by Side" as their text for the study of the conflict, but I doubt most teachers and schools would endorse such a program. Unfortunately, part of the problem with both Palestinians and Jews is their need to indoctrinate their youth with only their narrative. I once heard a Jewish Israeli "scholar" say that he didn't want Jewish kids going to the Hand In Hand School in Israel. This is a wonderful school that educates kids from kindergarten through 12th grade and has both Jewish and Arab teachers teaching the narrative of both sides. This "scholar" said that he might be okay with sending high school students there, but he certainly didn't want younger students participating in such a program. My interpretation: Let us indoctrinate our kids first, and then maybe we'll let them hear the other viewpoint. Oy vey.
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4 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Marilyntje on February 1, 2013
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It takes a while to get used to reading just the right-hand pages of a book, then just the left-hand ones (or vice-versa), but it makes it very easy to see how differently the contending parties in a dispute see the same incidents. I hope there will be continuing efforts to improve this book, and that it will be widely read by those who wonder why the Israelis and Jews, and the Palestinians and Arabs and Muslims, have been struggling for so long (close to a century), after having been able to get along much better for the preceding centuries.
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